Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and Mama four. In this podcast, we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How to life coaching tools and mindset work to completely transform our relationship with our children. Join me on my journey, unleash your inner parenting expert and become the mother you've always wanted to be. Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast and rate this podcast on Apple. And check out my transformative monthly membership for moms in the show notes.
Hello, and this is episode seven zones for us and for our kids. So I don't know if you've ever read my blog posts, I talk about zones all the time, I feel like it's like one of the main tools that I teach my clients and I teach my clients this because it is just so helpful. So this is how I describe zones, Red Zone, yellow zone, Green Zone, when I'm in my green zone, if you remember back to last week, when we talked about emotions and how different it is to parent from a place of like stress or overwhelm, versus a pace place of calm and content we talked about the week before also, right? So it does really matter. So I want you to think about your green zone, maybe that's content, maybe that's calm, maybe that's confident or peaceful. Now, whatever that is for you, it's probably going to be different from person to person. So maybe for me, it feels common content, will somebody else maybe feels excited or happy. I just want you to feel where your best parenting comes from and where you feel the best. Even if you're not parenting during the day, just you personally yourself at home by yourself. How are you feeling when you are feeling your best? What emotions do you feel there? What does it look like there? So I would get a paper and a pen and write down what is my green zone. So green zone for me looks like what now I want you to move to yellow zone. So yellow zone for me is frustrated and agitated and maybe a little bit like frantic. That's usually when I feel like okay, we're behind, we're running late, you know, I'm gonna feel a little frantic, I'm going to feel agitated, I'm going to feel frustrated. So in that mode, I'm probably going to be a little bit short with my words, I'm probably not going to be as connected with my kids, I'm definitely not going to be as patient with them. When I'm talking to them about things, I'm not going to communicate as much or really be trying to think about things from their angle, or what's going on with them. It's a little bit more me focused. So that's what my yellow looks like. So then now I want you to keep with that piece of paper, and I want you to write down a yellow zone. So what does your yellow zone feel like you can probably feel this. A great explanation is like boiling a kettle or water boiling in a kettle. So you can start to feel that kind of heat up, your temperatures rising on the inside, you're filling it heat up a little bit. That's your yellow. So it could be anxious, it could be panic, it could be worry. Now I want you to think about your red zone. So red zone is when you flipped your lid. This is when you've totally gone from your logical brain to your emotional brain, we have this higher and lower brain and our higher brain is very logical, and it can think through things clearly and make decisions ahead of time. And our emotional brain is very frustrated. And it's very stress. And it's tense. It's anything that's really like big emotions. So you can think of it as like flipping your lid. So now the kettle has like totally flipped the lid. And it's like steaming all over the place. And crazy, that is your red zone. So Red Zone, again, is going to look different for other people. So maybe it's like any intense emotion really would be your red zone. Now the thing about this emotional and logical brain that we have is that it's like a teeter totter seesaw, you can't be in both at the same time. So when your emotional brain is high, then your logical thinking brain is low and vice versa. So when you're in your red zone, you are not going to be able to think about things clearly, you're not going to make decisions for maybe the best of everybody in the future, right? You're just going to be making momentary decisions right from that right from that feeling. So the goal here is to move ourselves from our emotional brain back to our logical brain. But like we talked about when we were talking about emotions, we need to actually process that emotion. So go back and listen to the now feeling process, because that's a great tool to use in these situations. But for now, I want you to think about what makes me feel better, when I'm mad or when I'm upset what makes me feel better. Now I asked a group of teenagers, teenagers this one time and they said eating and video games. Well, eating in video games make you feel better, because you're not really allowing that emotion, right, you're doing something else instead. So I want you to think about what actually nourishes me what actually makes me feel better. So maybe it's something like taking some deep breaths, doing a meditation, listening to music, dancing it out in your kitchen to music. It could be doing thought dumps like we talked about in a past episode of could be doing the now feeling process. So I want you to write down what feels good to you in each zone. So Green Zone might look like you're more connected with your kids. Maybe you're thinking about them or maybe you're having fun, maybe you're playing maybe you're engaged. Maybe you're you know high relationship high communication is coming from the green zone. So what does
Your yellow zone looks like what kind of what are the typical actions coming from that yellow zone right now, which is probably going to be agitation or frustration, maybe you're shorter with them, and maybe you're not as connected to them. So what would make you feel better to go back down into your green zone? So what is it that I need, and oftentimes, what I need is just food or water, or maybe I need a little bit of alone time, maybe I need some connection with myself. So just kind of a lot of times there's can be an unmet need behind there. And so just kind of figuring out what that is and addressing that unmet need. Now in your red zone, what do the actions typically look like? Maybe you yell, maybe you scream, maybe you stop, maybe you slam doors, maybe you leave the room, whatever that is in your red zone, typically. Now what feels good to move you from your red zone to your yellow zone or to your green zone? What would you want to do in that moment, the goal here is to never respond or react in the red zone. So don't text message, somebody back, don't call somebody don't have a conversation with someone when you're in your red zone. You've probably done this before. And you probably know that it doesn't go very well. Our brain wants to tell us it's an important that we need to talk about it now that it has to be done right now. It's like imminent, right? That's what happens when we're in our red zone. That's how we feel. But it's just not true. And great solutions and communication and relationship building will never come from our red zone. So once you can start being mindful about your red zone, your yellow zone and your green zone, and where you're at during the day. And then being mindful about what makes me feel better when I am feeling that way. You can start moving through your zones kind of fluidly throughout the day, we are going to feel half the time kind of crummy and half the time not crummy, right? That's just what life is life is a mixture of 5050 positive and negative. And so that's okay, that's normal. But we just want to figure out what makes us feel good. Like I love to read a book with like a really soft blanket around me when I'm, you know, wanting wanting to calm down. I love to write out my thoughts. I love to just sit and feel my feelings. I love to I don't know much about meditation, but it's something I've been getting into. And just like sitting there and kind of releasing, I love to go on a walk, I'd love to go be in nature. music music is a big one for me too, listening to music, singing, music, dancing to music, any of those kind of things to help me get out of that kind of funk that I'm in when I'm in the red zone. And like we talked about the now feeling process last name it open up to watch it, that's a great way to kind of process that emotion as well. And sometimes I'll do that, and then I'll do a thought, then I'll write down Okay, well, what thoughts Am I thinking here, what's going on here, and then I can kind of analyze that situation. But I can't analyze that situation when I'm in my red zone. Because like I said, it's that teeter totter, if you're high in emotions, you're going to be low in logic, and vice versa. So you need to find ways that can help you get back into that logical thinking brain before you can want to respond to that situation. You know, our brain is going to tell us it's like an emergency situation. So an example could be like, we're at the park, and you're going to be late for something and you're getting more and more agitated and your child doesn't want to come in, you're like I'm noticing that I'm in my yellow now in my my red. And you're probably thinking to me right now, no crystal, I have to actually do something about this. This is problematic, we're going to be late. Well, I like to zoom out and think like what's actually really important here, what's the most important thing right now. And when I can zoom out, my most important thing is probably not that it matters. If I'm late for my appointment. I'm not saying just be late for all your appointments. But nothing positive is going to happen from that parenting mode Anyways, I'm gonna have to pick up my kid and drag them into the van, we're going to have a fight, we're going to get there and we're going to be frustrated, annoying is probably going to take just as long anyways. So just calming down and relaxing. And taking even just a minute to just cool yourself down, cool yourself down before you respond, will really help that situation in the long run that will really help. Now, I love to do this zooming out thing when I can zoom out of any situation, because when I'm in that situation, I think this is urgent, this is imminent, I need to deal with this. Now, this is a big deal. This is a problem. When I have those kinds of thoughts. They just lead me to pressure and panic and stress and overwhelm and my greatest parenting moments in my decisions, my creative solutions aren't going to come from that space. So I can zoom out and just think, okay, what's really important here. And when I think of what's really important here, the answer is always relationship, relationship, above all, so how can I preserve the relationship in this moment with my child, right now? If it's that I'm really, really angry and mad, and I'm in my red zone, preserving the relationship might mean literally not saying anything and walking away. Right? And you're probably thinking, Well, that doesn't sound like positive parenting. Well, the alternative would be you're yelling at them or saying something unkind or slamming the door. So it's trying to limit the damage that's going to be done. And then like all of us because we do make mistakes, everybody does to repair. The great thing about being human is that all of us make mistakes. There's not anybody on the planet that doesn't make a mistake.
And that we can always repair that damage as well. And repairing or can be a great way to connect with your child, not only can it be a great way to reconnect with your child after some damage has been done there, but it also can be a great way to show them, Hey, I'm human, and I make mistakes, too. Did you know that like, even adults make mistakes, that's okay, that's actually going to be teaching them great growth mindset skills for them to see that failure is okay, and how we deal with failure and apologize and learn from that failure is going to be huge for them. So, now that you know all about zones, I want you to practice it this week. And I'm going to tell you a little bit about zones for our kids now. So our kids also have these zones. And once I started getting used to my zones, and kind of moving through them fluidly throughout the day, I started also being able to recognize my kids zones, I kind of just came a little bit by a little bit, but I would notice just like a tone of voice here, or an action there. And I was like, Oh wait, I think my son is in like yellow right now. Like I can't even tell now, when I'm working in one room, and he's in the other room when he starts to get agitated and frustrated when he's moving to his yellow zone. So that I can help kind of intervene at that time and help him out. So maybe he needs to jump on the trampoline for a bit, maybe he needs a snuggle, maybe he just needs to chat, maybe he hasn't eaten in a while, maybe he hasn't had water in a while. Maybe he needs some fresh air, maybe he's had too many screens, there's so many things that could be behind the scenes going on there. And I can kind of show up in that yellow zone that he's in and help him through that. So like I said, children aren't great at regulating their emotions, when they're growing up. It's not till about the age of 12, that they start learning how to regulate their emotions. So we, it is helpful for us to kind of intervene and help them regulate their emotions when they don't know how. So I find yellow a great space to intervene there. And not to say like, okay, you're frustrated, I can tell you're angry, like, let's do something about this. But I just think of that in my mind. And then I'm thinking, Okay, what could be going on here? How can I help in this situation, calm them down, and I can calm them down before it turns on turns into a huge red explosion. So red zone for my kids looks like yelling, screaming meltdown. And it's different for everybody, right, my teenagers probably going to behave pretty differently in his red zone than some of my other kids. And another thing about this zero to 12 self regulation thing is that children that are neurodivergent, so any sort of, you know, emotional, or mental things going on like ADHD, or a DD or OSD or whatever.
Even, I think that even in children that aren't typically neurodivergent, it can take a little bit longer. It's not necessarily like at this age, then this starts happening, right? So my children that are neurodivergent, it takes them a little bit longer to kind of learn these skills, and that's okay. And we can be patient with that. Not that okay, well, now that you're 12, or now that you're 14, or now that you're 16, you should know how to handle these things, especially when we're raised in a home where we didn't necessarily see it be handled well, or we don't know how to handle things well, either. We haven't been handling them well. But then we have these expectations about our children handling them well. So the best way to help them through those things, is for us to start on us first, to work through those first before we start working through it with them. So start working on your zones, start getting mindful of your zones, and then we can start helping them through their zones as well. And I had somebody talk to me and say, well, when my child's in their red zone I tried talking to him about and they didn't want to talk about and they didn't want to do any of the things. Right. So they sat down and actually asked their child, what what do you want to do in green zone? What do you want to do in yellow zone? what feels good in red zone? Right? What kind of things make you feel better, so their children had made, the other child had made this list. And then they're like, well, in their red zone, they won't listen to me give them their list, well, would you, if you're in your red zone, listen to logic or reasoning from some other person, they're that saying, remember, you said that you wanted me to remind you to calm down or, you know, to go and jump on the trampoline, or go read a book, you're probably just gonna get more mad. So I find that interacting and intervening in the yellow zone is a really great way to do it. But once they're in their red zone, they're not necessarily going to want you to come in and try to do the now feeling process with them. Or to try to remind them, you know, that they need to do something to make themselves feel better. So they're not always going to deal with it. Great. So one thing I did with my child, she was little, I think we did this when she was four, I just started noticing that she kind of had the same pattern of behavior when she would have a meltdown. And what this would look like is screaming, yelling, maybe throwing whatever she was playing with, and then running into her room and slamming the door and staying in there and screaming and yelling for a while. So after a while I kind of asked her about it. And I just said so it looks like when you're mad that you feel like doing this. Is that what you feel like doing? And she's like, Yeah, I just feel like I've screamed, and I just need to scream. And I'm like, okay, she's like, sometimes I need to scream for a long time. Sometimes I don't need to scream for a long time and like, great. So she knows that. And then I'm like, What about me? Like, do you want me to be in there with you? And she said, Yeah, I want you to be in there with me. But I don't want you to talk to me. I don't want to talk to anybody. Sometimes she doesn't want me in there. Sometimes she does. And then she said and then afterwards when I feel better. I want to snuggle. I want to reconnect and I was like that's interesting that she already can kind of
verbalize that, right? So that's what I started doing. I let her go and screaming in her room and I kind of just say, I'm here for you if you need me, you know, sometimes I'll say, Do you want me here? Do you want me to go and she can't usually speak because she's screaming too much. But sometimes I can kind of get what she's meeting by, by her language, body language. Or sometimes she'll like use her fingers. Okay, point, if you want me to leave or point here, if you want me to stay. So then she'll tell me that. And so then I honor that I'll just stay in the room, maybe I stay a little ways away from there, because they're kind of conflicted, right? They're having this mixed feeling of like, I want you to present but I also want you away because I'm mad, but I also love you. So it's hard for them to even understand what they want there. So I usually just sit there and I wait for her to calm down for a while, and then we snuggle. Now, it doesn't always go perfectly like this. Sometimes after a few minutes, she just starts screaming about another thing, and she starts screaming about another thing. But when in my mind, I can shift it to like, Oh, she's just releasing a big emotion here. Then 10 minutes later, I can be like, Oh, wait, I thought the emotion was gone. But no, she's still just needs to release this big emotion here. That's okay. And I just show up in a different way doesn't mean that I'm going to let her like hit me or hit other people, I can still say something like, you know, soft hands, or we don't hit or something like that. Just like short and sweet. I'm not going to teach in that moment. The overarching lesson that I love to tell people is don't teach in the fire. So when I'm in my red zone, or when they're in their red zone, that's the fire, no teaching is going to happen. Nothing logical or helpful is going to happen for me, nothing logical or helpful is going to happen for them. So try to do what you can to not teach or not respond to react from that position, and wait till everybody's kind of calmed down. And then you can decide. And if you feel like it's something you really need to address, like maybe you have a 14 year old and you're like no that be like that language isn't Okay, that's not okay. I want you to just to get yourself to a calm place first, maybe do a thought dump, like we talked about a few episodes ago, get yourself to a calm space to a now feeling process. And then think about how do I want to show up? How do I want to have this conversation with them? And when I have conversations from that space, it can look like things like really just asking them what was going on there. When you hit your brother or when you stole something or when you were swearing at me like what were you feeling? What What were you thinking, you know, how did you feel about how you showed up then? And they'll typically say things like, yeah, you know, I probably should never Yeah, that probably wasn't so great, right? They're not going to get to that immediately when they're in their red zone, they're not going to feel that compassion or that guilt from what they did. It's going to take some time. And so just letting them process through their zones in their own way. I would suggest not talking to them for at least 24 hours after this episode. It could be the evening of or it could be 24 hours after their little meltdown or the little tantrum that they have. And also that sometimes it just doesn't even need to be talked about. Sometimes we can just let it go. And the learning just happens Anyways, we're always learning we don't need to be sitting down and trying to make everything a big deal. I'm talking to them about every single thing. So that sounds for us and zones for them. Go out and try it this week and let me know how it goes for you.
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